One of the coolest and most provocative film fests around, Cinepocalypse, unveils its explosive line-up for its 2019 season — and it’s going to be killer!
We’ve been eagerly anticipating news of the Cinepocalypse 2019 lineup since the season opening announcement. Our team has been fortunate enough to cover this incredible film festival since it began in 2017, and it’s easily one of our absolute favorite fests. The Cinepocalypse Film Festival (CFF) is Chicago’s premiere festival for electrifying and provocative genre cinema. This year the fest returns to the Music Box Theatre June 13th for eight days of features, shorts, events and surprises. The 2019 edition will also include eight fantastic break-out world premieres!
We’ve got all the details of what you can expect at this can’t miss film fest below.
We’re also thrilled to hear that the fest has a new presenting sponsor this year: ALTER. This horror brand from Gunpowder & Sky curates, develops and distributes award-winning short films, series, and feature films. And we are obsessed!
CINEPOCALYPSE 2019 IS GONNA ROCK YOUR WORLD!
The fine folks at CFF made jaws drop by kicking off their 2019 lineup announcement with news that they’ll be hosting the world premiere of VEROTIKA, the directorial debut from Misfits founder and punk/metal legend Glenn Danzig. Glenn’s passion for film, the occult, and all things ghouls ‘n ghosts has long influenced his music, and now he’s taking these elements to the big screen.
Featuring a plot shrouded in secrecy, a soundtrack of new Danzig music, and based on the output of his comic book publishing company Verotik—a compound of “violence” and “erotic”—this feature film anthology is a realization of his lifelong love of comics and the dark arts. VEROTIKA kicks off the fest with a massive bang, with Glenn in attendance for the opening night premiere.
As if that wasn’t enough, CFF will be saluting the patron saints of debauchery, GWAR, with a two-tier punch of totally original and unparalleled cinematic chaos. First up is a special retrospective screening event showcasing a number of GWAR’S most extravagant short films, including the Grammy-nominated PHALLUS IN WONDERLAND (for the first time on the big screen!). BälSäc and Sleazy P. will then take the stage to verbally skewer John Fasano’s 1987 Canadian cult classic ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE, starring (and written by) fellow rock god Thor!
CINEPOCALYPSE SPOTLIGHTS THE BADASS WOMEN OF HORROR
Cinepocalypse is rolling out the blood-red carpet for some of the most exciting voices in horror filmmaking of this age, including Gigi Saul Guerrero, Chelea Stardust, Caryn Waechter, Veronika Franz, and Pollyanna McIntosh.
The fest will host a special screening of CULTURE SHOCK, directed by Gigi Saul Guerrer, one of Variety’s 10 Latinxs to Watch. Her contribution to Hulu and Blumhouse’s popular Into The Dark series follows a young Mexican woman as her pursuit for the American Dream turns into the American Nightmare.
Minimum wage jobs are bad enough but a pizza delivery goes devilishly wrong in Chelsea Stardust hotly anticipated AFTER HOURS-esque dark comedy SATANIC PANIC. Produced by the production wing of Fangoria, who will also be releasing a special mini-edition of the magazine for CFF.
Caryn Waecther tackles isolation in the age of social media with her haunting sophomore feature DEADCON, following real-life YouTubers Lauren Elizabeth and Claudia Sulewski up against vengeful ghosts even more horrifying than their devoted fans.
Dark pasts come calling back in Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala’s Sundance hit THE LODGE as the fate of a young woman and her new, grudging step-children unravel in this star-studded psychological slowburn featuring Riley Keough, Jaeden Lieberher, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage and Lia McHugh.
Pollyanna McIntosh, best known for her role on AMC’s The Walking Dead, moves into the director seat for DARLIN’, a follow-up to Lucky McKee’s 2011 film THE WOMAN, while also reprising her starring role in the debut that charged SXSW’s Midnight Madness earlier this year.
LONG LOST FILMS UNEARTHED
Don’t let anyone tell you that lost treasure doesn’t exist, because CFF is beyond thrilled to present two world premieres more precious than the Holy Grail. A love story like no other (from the director of MAC AND ME, no less!), TAMMY AND THE T-REX is a ’90s Disney Channel movie on bath salts, starring Denise Richards as the titular T-Rex love interest. Thanks to the Academy Film Archive, CFF is able to screen the never-before-seen, never-known-to-exist, R-rated ‘Gore-cut’ 35mm print for the first time ever!
Get ready to return to the sexy slopes of HOT DOG… THE MOVIE for the 35th Anniversary Producer’s Cut 4K Restoration of the David Naughton- (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) and Shannon Tweed- (post-Playmate of the Year and pre-Gene Simmons) starring winter wonderland, PORKY’S-esque youth comedy, now with never-before-seen restored footage. The special screening will be hosted by Synapse Films Don May Jr., the A.V. Club’s Katie Rife and Mike “McBeardo” McPadden, author of Teen Movie Hell: A Crucible of Coming-of-Age Films From Animal House to Zapped!
ICONS OF CINEMA
The festival will present its annual achievement award to none other than the esteemed Canadian actor Michael Ironside, who’s been a staple in the world of genre cinema for the past three decades. Ironside will accept his award following a special 70mm screening of the sci-fi action film TOTAL RECALL.
In addition, Joel Schumacher, revered director of THE LOST BOYS, BATMAN FOREVER and ST. ELMO’S FIRE (to name a few!) joins the festival as Jury President and to present and take part in Q&As for special screenings of FALLING DOWN on 35mm and a rare 70mm print of FLATLINERS, originally filmed in Chicago.
AN AMBUSH OF ELECTRIC, EXCITING WORLD PREMIERES
Continuing to set the bar for exciting new genre cinema, CFF brings even more world premieres to the Music Box.
The fest promises you’ve never seen anything like Eric Power’s ATTACK OF THE DEMONS. Three friends fight off a horde of demons in the apocalyptic film that more than delivers in carnage, gore, and cut-paper animation. Holly’s perfect-on-paper life is threatened by strange dreams she can’t explain in Dean Kapsalis’ THE SWERVE. Both a stellar portrait of depression and a horrific drama, Dean’s feature-debut easily marks him as an emerging talent to watch.
Indie horror vet Lucky McKee (MAY, THE WOMAN) returns with KINDRED SPIRITS, a twisted tale of two sisters, and the one who won’t let anything, or anyone, get between them. Eric Liberacki’s Chicago-set slasher THE LURKER pits theatre students against savage killer in a film that gives new meaning to “The show must go on!”
The festival will also play host to a number of exciting North American and Midwest premieres. Talal Selhami’s Morrocan monster horror ACHOURA, where old friends confront both their past and a beast of legends. Emilio Portes’ demonic border-set BELZEBUTH follows the investigation of missing children that takes a decidedly demonic turn. YouTubers try to crack a ghostly urban legend in Fabrício Bittar’s horror-comedy GHOST KILLERS VS. BLOODY MARY with equal amounts gags and gore.
The Polish pagan epic THE MUTE, from award-winning Polish director Bartosz Konopka, explores a clash of beliefs in a thrilling, atmospheric heavy weight. Daniel de la Vega offers up a throwback to the days of black-and-white Noir films with the bewildering crime thriller PUNTA MUERTO.
Celebrated horror director Joe Begos brings us BLISS, his latest pounding feature, that’ll drag you to the deprived underbelly of L.A. with the spiraling artist Dezzy Donahue, whose struggle for inspiration becomes complicated by her mounting bloodlust.
Based on a tragic, true story Lucas Heyne’s MOPE follows two best friends, and low-end porn actors, who sought fame but gained infamy in connection to a gruesome, on-set murder. The tables are turned on two wannabe criminals in VILLAINS, from directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen and starring Bill Skarsgård, when thievery runs a foul and the prowlers soon become the prey.
Kirill Sokolov delivers a taste of bombastic revenge in WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE, a delicious serving of Russian dark humor as each character tries to murderously wreak revenge on the next, presented by our friends from across the globe, Paris’ L’Étrange Festival.
For more information and to purchase festival badges or individual tickets, visit cinepocalypsegenrefest.com.